Aquino not likely to name new appointees

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd is not likely to fill up various government posts that will be vacated beginning Monday due to the retirement of certain officials in agencies such as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Commission on Audit (COA), according to poll body spokesperson James Jimenez.

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Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino has yet to formally issue a statement with regard to these new appointments.

Jimenez said they expect Aquino to appoint new poll officials by mid-March.

“We believe he will not make the appointments anytime soon because Congress is still in session. This means that his appointees will have to be approved by the Commission on Appointments [CA] before they can assume,” he told The Manila Times in a phone interview.

At best, he said the President can make ad interim appointments when both Houses are in recess to avoid the CA requirement.

“That way, new appointees can immediately assume the post and later on appear before the CA for confirmation,” Jimenez explained.

Comelec Chairperson Sixto Brillantes Jr. and commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusop are retiring today. Also, COA chairman Grace Pulido-Tan will bow out of service.

Besides the Comelec and COA officials, Civil Service Commission chairman Francisco Duque is also expected to retire.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Coloma admitted that the Office of the President has yet to formally release information on who will replace the retiring government officials.

“There is no information yet and we will make them known as soon as they become available,” he said.

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